Agility Feat - Custom Software Development

The AgilityFeat blog

At AgilityFeat we are more than just designers and coders. We are also thought leaders. Our team has spoken at numerous conferences around the US, Europe, and Latin America. We are leading the way when it comes to applying agile methodologies to nearshore software development in Latin America. Our blog is where we share those lessons with you, as well as news about what our team is up to.

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Arin cole David Ford Jean
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How we blended teams with a US client

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How do you blend a distributed offshore team with your in-house development team? Our teams are based around Latin America and our clients are often in the United States. When you want to hire a team from another part of the world and have them bl...

Arin Sime

How we blended teams with a US client

How do you blend a distributed offshore team with your in-house development team? Our teams are based around Latin America and our clients are often in the United States. When you want to hire a team from another part of the world and have them blend in seamlessly with your own development team, there are […]

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3 tips for Onboarding Remote Hires

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Building a great remote team has enormous benefits. By expanding one’s talent pool beyond your local area you can dramatically increase your chances for finding people who possess the unique set of skills and talents for your team. As a product de...

Arin Sime

3 tips for Onboarding Remote Hires

Building a great remote team has enormous benefits. By expanding one’s talent pool beyond your local area you can dramatically increase your chances for finding people who possess the unique set of skills and talents for your team. As a product development team based throughout the Americas (that’s North, Central and South by the way), […]

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Awesome team building for distributed teams

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At AgilityFeat, we are a very distributed and very agile team. Culture is important for any team, but it’s even more important for distributed teams because you need a strong culture to overcome the possible inefficiencies of doing work remo...

Arin Sime

Awesome team building for distributed teams

At AgilityFeat, we are a very distributed and very agile team. Culture is important for any team, but it’s even more important for distributed teams because you need a strong culture to overcome the possible inefficiencies of doing work remotely. There are many ways we have learned to cultivate the culture of our team, but […]

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Free Agile Training

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If you’re looking for a couple hours of agile video to watch, a way to help you go to sleep at night, or just from free agile training, then I present to you the following videos. Our development team at AgilityFeat is spread out around Cent...

Arin Sime

Free Agile Training

If you’re looking for a couple hours of agile video to watch, a way to help you go to sleep at night, or just from free agile training, then I present to you the following videos. Our development team at AgilityFeat is spread out around Central America. When we bring on a new team member, […]

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The 3 phases of MVP development

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The other day I was speaking with a potential development customer when I realized two things: 1) He doesn’t need us … yet. 2) He can’t afford us … yet. “Yet” is a key addendum to both realizations. He has some interesting ideas, and a pretty well...

Arin Sime

The 3 phases of MVP development

The other day I was speaking with a potential development customer when I realized two things: 1) He doesn’t need us … yet. 2) He can’t afford us … yet. “Yet” is a key addendum to both realizations. He has some interesting ideas, and a pretty well thought out MVP (Minimum Viable Product) scope definition. […]

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AgilityFeat client nPulse Technologies acquired...

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Last week had me beaming with pride when I got the news that former AgilityFeat client nPulse Technologies has been acquired by FireEye for $60 million. TechCrunch described what both companies do this way: FireEye helps companies detect intrusion...

Arin Sime

AgilityFeat client nPulse Technologies acquired for $60 million

Last week had me beaming with pride when I got the news that former AgilityFeat client nPulse Technologies has been acquired by FireEye for $60 million. TechCrunch described what both companies do this way: FireEye helps companies detect intrusions on a company network, while nPulse builds on this by providing a way to track the […]

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Getting off on the Right Foot- Inside Sprint Zero

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“How do we get started?” This is a question we hear from clients all the time, often it’s the first question they ask after signing a contract. Most clients are familiar with the concepts of Agile at that point, including the processes and artifac...

Arin Sime

Getting off on the Right Foot- Inside Sprint Zero

“How do we get started?” This is a question we hear from clients all the time, often it’s the first question they ask after signing a contract. Most clients are familiar with the concepts of Agile at that point, including the processes and artifacts that will make a project a success but they are stuck […]

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On Team Building, The Commando Way

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At AgilityFeat, we work in a distributed manner. Primarily due to the insight that interruptions kill productivity and partially due to the painful traffic situation that exists in San José Costa Rica (where most of our team lives), our team membe...

Arin Sime

On Team Building, The Commando Way

At AgilityFeat, we work in a distributed manner. Primarily due to the insight that interruptions kill productivity and partially due to the painful traffic situation that exists in San José Costa Rica (where most of our team lives), our team members all work from home. We utilize Skype, Jira and many other tools for collaboration. […]

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Top Posts from 2013

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2014 is only 9 days old and before we get too far into the new year, we wanted to take a look back at our top posts from 2013. We covered a great deal of ground last year on our blog, including our experiences developing products via distributed a...

Arin Sime

Top Posts from 2013

2014 is only 9 days old and before we get too far into the new year, we wanted to take a look back at our top posts from 2013. We covered a great deal of ground last year on our blog, including our experiences developing products via distributed agile, Ruby on Rails, our perspectives on […]

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Why One Week Sprints Work Best in Distributed A...

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Sprint length is a topic of debate for companies employing Scrum. In my opinion, there is no one “right” length for sprints because of the myriad of factors that influence how effective a specific sprint length can be for a company. Av...

Arin Sime

Why One Week Sprints Work Best in Distributed Agile

Sprint length is a topic of debate for companies employing Scrum. In my opinion, there is no one “right” length for sprints because of the myriad of factors that influence how effective a specific sprint length can be for a company. Availability of stakeholders, the stage of the company and experience with scrum are all […]

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Tips for Successful Distributed Teams

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Last week I was working with an entrepreneur friend, who is building his product with a distributed team. His group includes people on both coasts of the United States as well as a two person team in western Europe. Throughout the course of our di...

Arin Sime

Tips for Successful Distributed Teams

Last week I was working with an entrepreneur friend, who is building his product with a distributed team. His group includes people on both coasts of the United States as well as a two person team in western Europe. Throughout the course of our discussion it became clear that many of the challenges he is […]

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4 Outsourcing Tips I Learned from the Lean Star...

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Last weekend I attended Lean Startup Machine in Boston. It was a learning-packed 72 hours and I think all entrepreneurs should attend one. In addition to the hands-on exercises applying Lean Startup Methodologies, it was a great way to meet other ...

Arin Sime

4 Outsourcing Tips I Learned from the Lean Start-up Machine

Last weekend I attended Lean Startup Machine in Boston. It was a learning-packed 72 hours and I think all entrepreneurs should attend one. In addition to the hands-on exercises applying Lean Startup Methodologies, it was a great way to meet other entrepreneurs and be energized by their passion for solving problems. The experience put my […]

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Ruby hiring is our problem

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“I want to make Ruby hiring your problem.” One of our current clients said this to me in our very first phone call. He was looking for software development teams in Latin America that could handle Ruby on Rails development, and natural...

Arin Sime

Ruby hiring is our problem

“I want to make Ruby hiring your problem.” One of our current clients said this to me in our very first phone call. He was looking for software development teams in Latin America that could handle Ruby on Rails development, and naturally AgilityFeat came up high on the list. “Here’s my problem,” our client continued, […]

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Why Entreprenuers Should Learn to Code

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It may seem odd initially that someone who sells software development to businesses would encourage other entrepreneurs to learn one of the skills that AgilityFeat offers. Why would I want more people to learn to do what we can do for them for a f...

Arin Sime

Why Entreprenuers Should Learn to Code

It may seem odd initially that someone who sells software development to businesses would encourage other entrepreneurs to learn one of the skills that AgilityFeat offers. Why would I want more people to learn to do what we can do for them for a fee? For starters, we’re not really in the software development business, […]

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6 Tips for Effective Stand-up Meetings in Distr...

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  At AgilityFeat, we work by applying Agile methodologies in a distributed manner. Our clients are generally based in the US while our team members are located in Costa Rica, Nicaragua as well as the US (Charlottesville and Boston). Recently,...

Arin Sime

6 Tips for Effective Stand-up Meetings in Distributed Agile

  At AgilityFeat, we work by applying Agile methodologies in a distributed manner. Our clients are generally based in the US while our team members are located in Costa Rica, Nicaragua as well as the US (Charlottesville and Boston). Recently, I’ve had a few discussions with prospective clients who ask about how we manage daily […]

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Ruby development continues to grow in Latin Ame...

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Nearshore Americas quoted AgilityFeat in an article earlier this week on the growth of Ruby on Rails development teams in Latin America. While there’s not hard data around it, the success of companies like AgilityFeat provides anecdotal evid...

Arin Sime

Ruby development continues to grow in Latin America

Nearshore Americas quoted AgilityFeat in an article earlier this week on the growth of Ruby on Rails development teams in Latin America. While there’s not hard data around it, the success of companies like AgilityFeat provides anecdotal evidence at least that nearshoring and Ruby on Rails are a good combination. This is no surprise of […]

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Three things I learned on a work-cation..

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Last weekend, I traveled to San José, Costa Rica to meet with the Agility Feat team. As usual, the trip to Costa Rica was absolutely amazing even though there were no beaches nor rain forests on the itinerary. This time, we used the weekend to sep...

Arin Sime

Three things I learned on a work-cation..

Last weekend, I traveled to San José, Costa Rica to meet with the Agility Feat team. As usual, the trip to Costa Rica was absolutely amazing even though there were no beaches nor rain forests on the itinerary. This time, we used the weekend to separate from our day to day responsibilities, mixing planning with [...]

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7 tips for when the going gets tough

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Not every project is going to run smoothly, even in the best of teams. We have a great team here at AgilityFeat, and we’re very selective when choosing our customers, so our projects tend to be very successful. But every team is going to hit bumps...

Arin Sime

7 tips for when the going gets tough

Not every project is going to run smoothly, even in the best of teams. We have a great team here at AgilityFeat, and we’re very selective when choosing our customers, so our projects tend to be very successful. But every team is going to hit bumps in the road sometimes, and we’re not immune to [...]

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4 ways Perfection is killing you

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Whether you are a bleeding edge startup or a large corporation running agile teams, here are four ways that you may be abusing agile concepts and letting perfection kill your chances of success. Product Owner Perfection In an agile team, the Produ...

Arin Sime

4 ways Perfection is killing you

Whether you are a bleeding edge startup or a large corporation running agile teams, here are four ways that you may be abusing agile concepts and letting perfection kill your chances of success. Product Owner Perfection In an agile team, the Product Owner (PO) is the “voice of the customer” to the development team.  They [...]

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Improving our Sprint Zero process

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Project on-boarding is key to success Step two is always a question mark. It’s one of my favorite meme’s on the internet. Some joker on a message board will say they have a great idea, and their business plan usually goes something like the image ...

Arin Sime

Improving our Sprint Zero process

Project on-boarding is key to success Step two is always a question mark. It’s one of my favorite meme’s on the internet. Some joker on a message board will say they have a great idea, and their business plan usually goes something like the image on the left. It’s a light hearted way to poke [...]

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Jan 28: News from the Startup Front

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In our first “news from the startup front” of 2013, our code commandos have a lot of great stories to share with you – and more coming! We’ve done interviews with 3 great lean startups (Twilio, LaunchBit, and Change.org), so please join us while w...

Arin Sime

Jan 28: News from the Startup Front

In our first “news from the startup front” of 2013, our code commandos have a lot of great stories to share with you – and more coming! We’ve done interviews with 3 great lean startups (Twilio, LaunchBit, and Change.org), so please join us while we learn from their experiences in these blog posts. We’ve also [...]

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Dec 18: News from the Startup Front

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Wow, this year has flown by! In our final “news from the startup front” of 2012, our code commandos have been thinking a lot lately about Lean Startups, nearshoring, and our upcoming workshop in Tamarindo, Costa Rica.  There’s lots of good stuff c...

Arin Sime

Dec 18: News from the Startup Front

Wow, this year has flown by! In our final “news from the startup front” of 2012, our code commandos have been thinking a lot lately about Lean Startups, nearshoring, and our upcoming workshop in Tamarindo, Costa Rica.  There’s lots of good stuff coming up here, so read on! Patrick Vlaskovits joins AgilityFeat for a Customer [...]

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For entrepreneurs, the world has to be vertical...

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From Flat to Vertical The world is increasingly vertical for entrepreneurs. For well over a decade, companies in North America and elsewhere have been outsourcing parts of their software development around the world in search of the cost efficienc...

Arin Sime

For entrepreneurs, the world has to be vertical #GEW

From Flat to Vertical The world is increasingly vertical for entrepreneurs. For well over a decade, companies in North America and elsewhere have been outsourcing parts of their software development around the world in search of the cost efficiencies that will allow them to stay competitive in tough economies and very competitive marketplaces. For big [...]

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@PV webinar video on Customer Development

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Yesterday the AgilityFeat team hosted a webinar with Patrick Vlaskovits, co-author of The Entrepreneurs Guide to Customer Development and the upcoming “The Lean Entrepreneur”. Patrick will be leading a workshop on customer development at AgilityFe...

Arin Sime

@PV webinar video on Customer Development

Yesterday the AgilityFeat team hosted a webinar with Patrick Vlaskovits, co-author of The Entrepreneurs Guide to Customer Development and the upcoming “The Lean Entrepreneur”. Patrick will be leading a workshop on customer development at AgilityFeat’s upcoming DareToBeLean workshop in Costa Rica (come join us!). After we gave an introduction to DareToBeLean, Patrick shared some insights [...]

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Nov 7: News from the Startup Front

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In this week’s “news from the startup front”, here’s what our team of code commandos is reading, writing and watching: Ford Englander joins AgilityFeat as VP of Business Development Join us for an small group chat with Patrick Vlaskovits, author o...

Arin Sime

Nov 7: News from the Startup Front

In this week’s “news from the startup front”, here’s what our team of code commandos is reading, writing and watching: Ford Englander joins AgilityFeat as VP of Business Development Join us for an small group chat with Patrick Vlaskovits, author of The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development! How Contactually is applying Lean Startup Methodologies to [...]

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Ford Englander joins AgilityFeat as VP of Busin...

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Ford Englander is AgilityFeat’s new VP for Business Development, and a long time mentor and friend to me.  I’m thrilled to have him join the US ranks of AgilityFeat because Ford brings in a wealth of experience that is going to help us grow and se...

Arin Sime

Ford Englander joins AgilityFeat as VP of Business Development

Ford Englander is AgilityFeat’s new VP for Business Development, and a long time mentor and friend to me.  I’m thrilled to have him join the US ranks of AgilityFeat because Ford brings in a wealth of experience that is going to help us grow and serve our clients better. I’d like to tell you a [...]

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Oct 26: News from the Startup Front

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In this week’s “news from the startup front”, here’s what our team of code commandos is reading, writing and watching: DareToBeLean Super Early Bird pricing ends October 31st! Join Patrick Vlaskovits for a free Customer Development webinar Nov 15t...

Arin Sime

Oct 26: News from the Startup Front

In this week’s “news from the startup front”, here’s what our team of code commandos is reading, writing and watching: DareToBeLean Super Early Bird pricing ends October 31st! Join Patrick Vlaskovits for a free Customer Development webinar Nov 15th Lederhosen and Lean Startups AgilityFeat presenting “Just Deploy It” at Ignite Lean Startup Conf in San [...]

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Registration for DareToBeLean is open!

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January 9th – 11th, 2013 will be the dates that you learn how to make your startup dreams a reality. DareToBeLean is going to be a great 3 day workshop, on the beach in Tamarindo Costa Rica, that covers everything you need to know to refine your s...

Arin Sime

Registration for DareToBeLean is open!

January 9th – 11th, 2013 will be the dates that you learn how to make your startup dreams a reality. DareToBeLean is going to be a great 3 day workshop, on the beach in Tamarindo Costa Rica, that covers everything you need to know to refine your startup idea and build the web or mobile [...]

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Oct 10: News from the Startup Front

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In this week’s “news from the startup front”, here’s what our team of code commandos is reading, writing and watching: Patrick Vlaskovits, “The Lean Entrepreneur” to kick-off DareToBeLean AgilityFeat joins C3 working space in Cambridge MA Tour of ...

Arin Sime

Oct 10: News from the Startup Front

In this week’s “news from the startup front”, here’s what our team of code commandos is reading, writing and watching: Patrick Vlaskovits, “The Lean Entrepreneur” to kick-off DareToBeLean AgilityFeat joins C3 working space in Cambridge MA Tour of AgilityFeat’s Wishlisting.org project 4 more tips to Nearshore Agile Development Betas, Big Bang Theories, and Startups LeanStartup [...]

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AgilityFeat joins C3 in Cambridge

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AgilityFeat is now a proud member of the C3 co-working space in the Cambridge Innovation Center! Home of the Venture Cafe every Thursday, and over 400 start-ups every day, this is a great organization we are now proud to be part of!  Please visit ...

Arin Sime

AgilityFeat joins C3 in Cambridge

AgilityFeat is now a proud member of the C3 co-working space in the Cambridge Innovation Center! Home of the Venture Cafe every Thursday, and over 400 start-ups every day, this is a great organization we are now proud to be part of!  Please visit us next time you are near One Broadway.  We’re right off [...]

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4 more tips to Nearshore Agile Development

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CIO magazine posted an article this week entitled “7 Tips to Offshore Agile Development”, and they got it mostly right, but I would like to add 4 more tips that I think are critical to effective agile outsourcing. Stephanie Overby wrote these 7 ti...

Arin Sime

4 more tips to Nearshore Agile Development

CIO magazine posted an article this week entitled “7 Tips to Offshore Agile Development”, and they got it mostly right, but I would like to add 4 more tips that I think are critical to effective agile outsourcing. Stephanie Overby wrote these 7 tips: Be prepared (with standard tools and communication rules) Start small (use [...]

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Patrick Vlaskovits, “The Lean Entrepreneur” to ...

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Patrick Vlaskovits to lead Customer Development workshop at D2BL2013 3-day workshop to be held on the beach in Costa Rica Software development firm AgilityFeat is pleased to announce that Patrick Vlaskovits will be leading a full day workshop on c...

Arin Sime

Patrick Vlaskovits, “The Lean Entrepreneur” to kick-off DareToBeLean

Patrick Vlaskovits to lead Customer Development workshop at D2BL2013 3-day workshop to be held on the beach in Costa Rica Software development firm AgilityFeat is pleased to announce that Patrick Vlaskovits will be leading a full day workshop on customer development as part of DareToBeLean. Patrick is co-author of “The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development”, […]

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Sept 26: News from the Startup Front

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In this week’s “news from the startup front”, here’s what our team of code commandos is reading, writing and watching: Save the date for DareToBeLean Jan 9-11 2013! Resort Survey for DareToBeLean Report from MoDevTablet in Washington DC The emotio...

Arin Sime

Sept 26: News from the Startup Front

In this week’s “news from the startup front”, here’s what our team of code commandos is reading, writing and watching: Save the date for DareToBeLean Jan 9-11 2013! Resort Survey for DareToBeLean Report from MoDevTablet in Washington DC The emotional trough of startups How thinking low-tech can jump start a project Why Too Many Startups [...]

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Sept 12: News from the Startup Front

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This is the first in a regular new series rounding up different blogs and articles that our team of Costa Rican Code Commandos found interesting. This “news from the startup front” will focus on agile development, startups, and anything else relat...

Arin Sime

Sept 12: News from the Startup Front

This is the first in a regular new series rounding up different blogs and articles that our team of Costa Rican Code Commandos found interesting. This “news from the startup front” will focus on agile development, startups, and anything else related to our team. The Chilean government has selected a new batch of startups for [...]

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Announcing Dare To Be Lean!

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I hinted at it previously, but now the fancy landing page is ready and I am proud to invite you to join us in Costa Rica in early 2013 for an awesome 3 day hands on workshop for entrepreneurs! The workshop is called Dare To Be Lean, and you can le...

Arin Sime

Announcing Dare To Be Lean!

I hinted at it previously, but now the fancy landing page is ready and I am proud to invite you to join us in Costa Rica in early 2013 for an awesome 3 day hands on workshop for entrepreneurs! The workshop is called Dare To Be Lean, and you can learn more here: DareToBeLean.AgilityFeat.com We [...]

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The Potential Pitfalls of Outsourced Development

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The Potential Pitfalls of Outsourced Development If you are looking for a nearshore agile team for a project there are some common problems to look out for, or you risk losing time and money. The short and sweet summary of these problems is: peopl...

Arin Sime

The Potential Pitfalls of Outsourced Development

The Potential Pitfalls of Outsourced Development If you are looking for a nearshore agile team for a project there are some common problems to look out for, or you risk losing time and money. The short and sweet summary of these problems is: people aren’t always who they claim to be. Body shops An outsourcing [...]

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Costa Rica is one of the most stable Latin Amer...

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I’ve blogged before about what a great place Costa Rica is to do business if you are considering nearshoring to Latin America, and so I want to reiterate that from another source. Here are a few paragraphs excerpted from “Doing Business in Latin A...

Arin Sime

Costa Rica is one of the most stable Latin American countries

I’ve blogged before about what a great place Costa Rica is to do business if you are considering nearshoring to Latin America, and so I want to reiterate that from another source. Here are a few paragraphs excerpted from “Doing Business in Latin America”, talking about how Costa Rica is the exception to many Latin [...]

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AgilityFeat quoted in Nearshore Americas post o...

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David Alfaro and I had a good conversation with Jon Tonti from Nearshore Americas earlier this week that led to a nice blog post about the benefits of using agile in nearshore projects.  You can read the full post here: http://nearshoreamericas.co...

Arin Sime

AgilityFeat quoted in Nearshore Americas post on Agility

David Alfaro and I had a good conversation with Jon Tonti from Nearshore Americas earlier this week that led to a nice blog post about the benefits of using agile in nearshore projects.  You can read the full post here: http://nearshoreamericas.com/agile-nearshore-software-development/ As we all said in the article, it’s very hard to implement agile practices [...]

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Nearshore Agile: Why Choose Costa Rica?

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We have explained before why we think nearshore agile is a good idea, but why choose Costa Rica over other Latin American countries? They all have convenient time zones for collaboration with US companies, labor costs are lower than they are in th...

Arin Sime

Nearshore Agile: Why Choose Costa Rica?

We have explained before why we think nearshore agile is a good idea, but why choose Costa Rica over other Latin American countries? They all have convenient time zones for collaboration with US companies, labor costs are lower than they are in the US, and most of them have beautiful locales that would make for [...]

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AgilityFeat Team Retrospective in Costa Rica

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Retrospectives are important at higher levels than just your individual projects. At AgilityFeat we also hold retrospectives within our company and across our projects regularly. This is so we can look for patterns across our most successful proje...

Arin Sime

AgilityFeat Team Retrospective in Costa Rica

Retrospectives are important at higher levels than just your individual projects. At AgilityFeat we also hold retrospectives within our company and across our projects regularly. This is so we can look for patterns across our most successful projects and also learn from projects that had more challenges. These retrospectives also keep our team members informed [...]

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A Successful Nearshore Agile Standup Session

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How to have a well run remote standup session with your team. Standups are a key part of the agile and scrum process. Each standup is a time for our team to sync up with each other and the customer. It is also an opportunity to let our customer kn...

Arin Sime

A Successful Nearshore Agile Standup Session

How to have a well run remote standup session with your team. Standups are a key part of the agile and scrum process. Each standup is a time for our team to sync up with each other and the customer. It is also an opportunity to let our customer know of any unexpected delays or [...]

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Tips for traveling to meet our team in Costa Rica

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Bienvenidos a Costa Rica!  We are very pleased to work with our clients in the United States and to be able to share a little bit of Costa Rica with you in the process. When your team comes to visit us in Costa Rica, please keep these tips in mind...

Arin Sime

Tips for traveling to meet our team in Costa Rica

Bienvenidos a Costa Rica!  We are very pleased to work with our clients in the United States and to be able to share a little bit of Costa Rica with you in the process. When your team comes to visit us in Costa Rica, please keep these tips in mind. Airports There are two international [...]

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AgilityCast: Introduction to Cucumber

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Today we held the first of many future “AgilityCasts”, where we record a short presentation by one of our team members on a topic related to agile software development, nearshore agile development in Costa Rica, or anything that suits our fancy. T...

Arin Sime

AgilityCast: Introduction to Cucumber

Today we held the first of many future “AgilityCasts”, where we record a short presentation by one of our team members on a topic related to agile software development, nearshore agile development in Costa Rica, or anything that suits our fancy. These sessions are meant to be pretty informal, and while we are using powerpoint, [...]

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Benefits to kicking off your Nearshore Agile pr...

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Last week we just finished up the kick off for a new project in the AgilityFeat Costa Rica offices.  This is a fast growing area of business at AgilityFeat and one I am very pleased about, so I would like to take a little time to describe to you h...

Arin Sime

Benefits to kicking off your Nearshore Agile project in Costa Rica

Last week we just finished up the kick off for a new project in the AgilityFeat Costa Rica offices.  This is a fast growing area of business at AgilityFeat and one I am very pleased about, so I would like to take a little time to describe to you how a kick off week might [...]

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